Resilience is about bouncing FORWARDS, not back

It’s often said that resilience is about bouncing back from adversity and hardship. But that isn’t the full picture. Smart leaders know this. So do resilient problem-solvers. They recognise that resilience isn’t about bouncing back to the good old times. It’s about bouncing into the future with optimism, hope and a solution-focused mind. For example, did you know that the most resilient leaders don’t ask ‘Why did adversity happen’?’ Instead, they ask ‘How would I like the future to turn out?’

How do you get your mind to think like this?

Psychologists recommend using a process called Positive Future Casting. Despite the fancy name, this is a very easy-to-learn technique. It simply involves imagining the future turning out well. The trick is to get really specific about the details you include in this ‘mental rehearsal’. Make them as vivid as possible. This fools your brain into thinking your imagined future is happening now – which immediately reduces stress.

Three reasons smart leaders future cast

Positive Future Casting has impressive long-term benefits. It prompts your brain to grow new neurological pathways. Those pathways help you think, learn and take action in new ways. Of course, future casting also  fires up your resilience and optimism, which makes you a better leader. In fact, Positive Future Casting is the fastest way I know to switch off stress, power up motivation and boost your mental stamina.


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Positive Future Casting is very easy to do. If you can daydream, you can future cast. Here are some ways you can get started.

  • Reading Martin Seligman’s book Learned Optimism
  • Working with coach or mentor
  • Enrolling in an NLP course that teaches Future Pacing techniques
  • Googling solution focused thinking techniques, so you can try them out for yourself

The next time you – or your team – encounter tough times, remember this simple fact. Resilience is involves bouncing forwards, not backwards. True resilience helps you create something better than before – including a better version of yourself!

This article was created by Eleanor Shakiba

Eleanor is a leadership trainer and success coach. Her mission is inspiring talented people to become leaders who make a difference.  Since discovering her passion for training and development, Eleanor has trained more than 60,000 people. She delivers face-to-face workshops for corporates, online masterclasses for leaders and Positive Psychology retreats for trainers, HR practitioners and leaders.